When a company begins selling products or services, they become a brand. Successful companies turn into brands that consumers recognize through solid marketing techniques.
As a politician running for office, your goal isn’t much different. You still need to build a brand that people recognize through your marketing efforts, but that trademark is your name, rather than a company name.
Components of a Great Political Brand
Voters look for a number of things in a political trademark, but the best way to describe the necessities of a great brand are through SWOT analysis. Though the exact origins are unknown, Albert Humphrey, a renowned business management consultant at the Stanford Research institute, made this principal famous.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When a political leader is looking to imprint their emblem, they must seriously consider each of these traits and use them to their advantage. Even your weaknesses must be flipped to show strengths, and the opportunities must be capitalized on in order to improve your chances of winning an election.
Along with SWOT, you’ll need to focus on professionalism and patience at all times. Get used to being in the public, and be aware of how your appearance, actions, and words reflect on your brand. Even a small misstep can be blown into a huge mistake that distorts your brand.
Focus on Advertising
A great political brand begins with advertising. “Nobody will know who you are or what you stand for if you haven’t checked off a number of boxes,” according to Chris Lee, an expert in political marketing. “To start, word of mouth can be a powerful tool – but anyone who’s passed a story or secret along a chain of individuals can tell you how easily that message can be warped into something completely wrong. For this, we need physical and digital marketing to back up your organic message.”
As Lee points out, every politician must have an original message that they’re able to clearly spread to their voting audience – without it being distorted by the media. This takes a concentrated effort in consistent marketing.
Lee also recommends using yard signs, banners, and media-related stories to extend positive views for your campaign. This form of physical marketing is a great way to bring local attention to your political brand. “Long tail messages such as your campaign logo, your name, and the date of the election are powerful tools for ingraining information that isn’t likely to change into your audience’s memory.”
It’s also important to include digital marketing efforts, in order to enhance your message and keep it consistent across the internet. “Shorter term focus items such as elements of your message, your stance on hot button issues or personality pieces can be easily implemented into your digital strategy,” according to Lee.
When combined with physical marketing, this is the best way to boost your brand and bring awareness to what you stand for. “In reality, successful physical and digital campaigns play to their strengths.”
Consider Outside Factors
There are several factors that will be outside of your control when building a reputable brand. Budget restrictions will be one glaring aspect, since you might not be able to afford all of the advertising that you originally hoped. Developing a contingency plan for cheaper advertising or trimmed costs in other departments is a good idea, in case costs run over.
Probably the most obstructive factor is the opponents. It’s hard to predict how your components will attack or try to twist your brand to be something that it’s not. Having a great campaign design with clear branding is the best way to combat any political attacks. By displaying your goals, standards, ideas, and image clearly through physical and digital marketing, you can give your brand the respect it deserves.